Postpartum Depression

Postpartum Depression

(information compiled by Lien MOMS Link research nurses)

Mothers have a wide range of experiences after the birth of a child. This is the same for mothers with low mood. Roughly 80% of mothers feel down for a few days after the birth of a child. This is often called the "baby blues". For some mothers, this experience of tearfulness is more persistent, lasting weeks or months. This is called a "postpartum depression". Mothers with a postpartum depression may feel sad, moody, cry a lot, feel anxious, have little energy, have a harder time remembering things than usual and feel irritable. Women's experiences of postpartum depression can be very different. This can make it hard for women to know what they are experiencing or how serious it is. Postpartum depression can begin immediately after birth or many months later. The depression may occur after any birth, not necessarily after the birth of a first child. Although it is very uncommon, a small percentage of mothers (0.01%) will develop a more serious condition called "postpartum psychosis". A mother with a postpartum psychosis will lose contact with reality and needs to be hospitalized and receive psychiatric intervention to get well.

Not sure if you are going through something more serious than the baby blues? Talk to your family doctor or dial 811 Tele-Care to talk about your symptoms. They can ask you questions to see how serious your feelings of depression are.


New Brunswick Referral Numbers

*New Brunswick Tele-Care (Health consultation) Dial 811

*During an emotional crisis, a mother can talk to someone immediately by calling the CHIMO helpline: 1-800-667-5005

  • The Mobile Mental Health Crisis Team 1-866-771-7760

*Mental Health Services:

Bathurst 547-2038
Sussex 432-2090 Campbellton 789-2440
Woodstock 325-4419 Caraquet 726-2030
Edmundston 735-2070 Elsipogtog 523-8222 Fredericton 453-2132 Grand Falls 475-2440 Kedgwick 284-3431 Miramichi 778-6111 Moncton 856-2444 Richibucto 523-7620 Sackville 364-4082 Saint John 658-3737 St. Stephen 466-7380

Family Resource Centres

Bathurst (506) 545-6608 Campbellton (506) 753-4172 Chipman (506) 339-6726 Fredericton (506) 474-0252 Grand-Sault (506) 473-6351 Miramichi (506) 622-5103 Moncton (506) 384-7874 Caraquet (506) 727-1860 Richibucto (506) 524-9192 Saint-John (506) 633-2182 St-Stephen (506) 465-8181
Sussex (506) 433-2349 Woodstock (506) 325-2299



  • Postpartum Depression and Anxiety: A self-help guide for mothers Pacific Post Partum Support Society
  • Out of the darkness (postpartum depression is not something we can fight alone). Sheila MacDonald (2002) Publish America.
  • Parenting well when you're depressed: A complete resource for maintaining a healthy family. Nicholson, J., Henry, A., Clayfield, J., Philips, S. (2001). Oakland: New Harbinger Publications
  • Sleepless Days: One woman's journey through postpartum depression. Susan Kushner Resnick (2002). New York: St Martin's Press.
  • Postpartum survival guide. Dunnewold, A. & Sanford, D. G. (1994). Oakland: New Harbinger Publications
  • Patient Guide for Women with Postpartum Depression and Anxiety -
  • More than Baby Blues: Unmasking Postpartum Depression (video) Directed by Hans Spatzeck-Olsen. Paraclete Press
  • Depression After Childbirth: How to Recognize, Treat, and Prevent Postnatal Depression Katharina Dalton, Wendy M. Holton. (2001) Oxford University Press
  • Surviving Post-Natal Depression: At Home, No One Hears You Scream Cara Aiken. (2000) Jessica Kingsley Pub
  • Down Came the Rain Brooke Shields. (2005). Hyperion Books

Additional Parenting Support

  • General practitioner/family doctor If unable to find a family doctor you can (1) go to the emergency room, (2) go to the after-hours clinic, or (3) self refer to mental health.
  • Breastfeeding support group
  • Local counselling services
  • Parenting or new mother support group
  • Local therapist
  • Local hospital. Try Social Services Dept/Childbirth Education Dept/Maternity Services Dept/Psychiatry Dept.
  • Personal referral from friend, neighbour, or someone you trust
  • Yellow pages
  • Church/Synagogue/Mosque/Temple